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21  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Tasty Fish Soup on: March 20, 2009 12:35:40 AM
Ok, I know, fish soup sounds weird but I made some tonight and it was really tasty Smiley I used freshwater Barramundi and it had a really nice texture.



I didn't use a recipe... but I can give you an idea of what I did Smiley

Ok, I took a large pot and put olive oil down then let some garlic and onions turn a bit translucent. I squeezed a lemon over that and it made the bottom of the pot dark which gave it really awesome flavor. Then I added a box of organic chicken broth. Next I threw in some dried parsley, 3/4" cubes of peeled potato (two small potatoes), salt and fresh ground pepper. I let that all come to a rolling boil and then added the fish. I was nervous but it cooked great! I cut the filet into small pieces and just dropped them in. Easy!

It was nice Smiley I have an extra bowl for tomorrow's lunch too! I ate it with french bread.

I hope you're inspired to try something new!
22  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / How to sew a new pocket on: January 19, 2009 06:02:23 PM
Mods please move if this is in the wrong place. It's a pocket on clothing but I didn't make the pants, I just fixed them!

So today I helped a lovely gentleman fix up a pair of his favorite jeans. He works in a hardware store and puts his keys in his front pocket. The pocket get demolish pretty fast this way so he brought it in to me to make a new one!

How do you fix a pocket? Like this!

Turn the pants inside out so you can see what you're doing. Lay the pocket flat and chop out the offending area like so.


Use the piece that you cut out to make your new piece of pocket. This one is made of duck cloth since his keys obliterate the old pocket. Here is the new cut pocket and the old pocket that I used as a pattern.


Iron the pocket in half to match the old piece. Sew and serge the pocket bottom just like the old piece.


Turn and press the pocket. Now the fun part! Match the seam of the pocket to the seam that is left on the pants. You are working from the back side so that the inside of the pants are smooth. Everything will look just like the old pocket.


Now, pin all around joining the new pocket to the old pocket socket! Like that?  Wink For you non-pinners out there, it really helps at this step to check your pocket size just in case you cut it big or small. Also note that pins are perpendicular the line I'll be sewing so that I can take them out as I work. I never sew over pins Smiley


Sew and serge. Trim excess threads, which I haven't done yet in this pic.


This is a really important step. I think we all take ironing for granted but it really makes a difference between nice looking and just ok looking. Here I am demonstrating how we are going to iron the seam down towards the bottom of the pocket.


If the pocket seam is not directed one way or another it'll get all squirrely and it won't look good. I used an ironing ham to shove into the pocket so I could iron it easier. It's just a hard form that you can use  to provide stability while ironing rounded shapes. Really handy and necessary for darts!


Here is what you end up with! A nice new pocket bottom that is strong and will outlast wear and tear! See how nice it lays since the seam was ironed down? I told  you it makes a huge difference!


That was part of my day in a nutshell! Enjoy Smiley
23  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions / My Project for 2009: Fixing up a Shop on: January 18, 2009 06:55:24 PM
I will start off with a disclaimer first Smiley I am not looking for business nor will I ever reveal the name of this shop in which I work. Also, if this post is in the wrong spot please let me know Smiley


Story time first! After I lost my lovely desk job in May of 2008 I sat around useless for 2 months. I opened an Etsy and that is a super blast but I was looking for more. As luck would have it one of my lady friends that I used to work with at JoAnn's owns a tiny alterations shop. She asked me if I would like to apprentice with her so that I could manage the shop for her when she expanded her shop to North Scottsdale where the money is. I said "Heck yes!" in a flash.

I have since filled up at least two whole notebooks of tricks and shortcuts and you name it about anything and everything having to do with sewing and altering. I AM IN LOVE!

Here is the one teeeeny catch. The shop is sorely in need of tidying... that's putting it nicely. She wants to use the front of the store to have teachers come in and use the space for sewing lessons. NUTS! Till now the shop has only housed her; a little tiny lady from the Philippines who worked in sweatshops as a small girl. The whole shop is not up to code. Fortunately I have a lovely degree in Interior Design where I studied all the things necessary to help her shape up this shop but boy am I in for a haul!

I am hoping that by sharing my journey with you I can do a few things; obvioulsy I want to share my journey with you and post as a finish something new but to encourage you to take a chance and take on a big project sometime. I'll even share some of my projects so you can learn my stuff too!

On to some pics!



This is a side view of the front desk at the shop. On the left of the picture is where the front door is. There is a charter school next door and the kids come in for lunch, hence the fridge Smiley



This is the space right by the front door that she wants to use for class space. We have moved out a lot of this stuff already in just a few weeks! I'll get some new pics of this space soon. The windows are south facing and she has nasty window treatments to combat the heat.



This is right behind the shelving of the front desk. The curtained area is the changing room. I have already moved that light colored desk to the workspace since she took the one that is in the pics to her new shop. The long rack there is my work week of alterations.




This is the actual workspace. It's really functional though it might look a but messy. We have two hemmers, an industrial serger, two small sergers and two industrial sewing machines. We also have one that is set up just for button holes and zig-zag. I'll post details of these specific areas later Smiley




This is the back door. Anyone see a problem here? Her cabinets here block the back door so that a wheelchair can't get out in an emergency. Again, this hasn't been a problem for her but if we are going to invite people in we must make it safe for everyone Smiley This is one of my priority spots!

This next photo is disturbing to me so bear with me...


This is the bathroom.... breath slowly. I have already started here since I deemed this spot the worst. That is literally how much the door could open. She had a shelf behind the door so it couldn't open the whole way. She stored the soda in the bathroom yikes! and there was carpet in there underneath an unglued sheet of vinyl. Breath slowly. So many health issues with this bathroom. I ripped up all that nasty flooring yesterday. I found black mold which I half expected. There will be NO MORE soda/potty storage on my watch!

I'll take some new pics tomorrow and post so you can see what I have done so far. I am pretty proud of the tiny progress I have made in that bathroom.

Ok, now you can talk Smiley
24  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / What I made today- Button Hairpins on: September 12, 2008 12:21:10 AM
Ok, I needed a project that I could get finished today with stuff I already had. So I made some cute little hairpins. I think I am going to make more for Christmas gifts Smiley

These were super easy to do but I took forever choosing buttons and button combinations! ooh I love buttons!

Ok, so what I did was take my two buttons and sew them together with some embroidery floss, just for effect, and then I cut a little circle of wool felt in black and slid it into the hairpin. Then I used some lovely super glue to attach the buttons to the wool felt/hairpin. SO EASY!!!!

So, What do you think?


This is one set I made. LOVE these colors Smiley


My friends love these Smiley


This is what the backs look like. I like how tidy they are.


Group shot of all the sets I made.

Ok, now I need some feedback! I was also playing with my macro setting to try to get better at taking pictures of all the tiny things. What do you think of the pictures themselves?

Thanks so much all!
25  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Insect Pin on: September 10, 2008 10:14:41 AM
Hello All! I don't think I have posted in jewelry before.
It's made of bright yellow satin and a lighter yellow head that I felted *my first time* I just happened to have the right color for all the beads Heck yes! I did my own thing for the beadwork since I really couldn't tell what was going on in the original pic.

This is the overall shot. It's about 2.25in in length including tulle netting.


This is the back side. I cut slits in the wool felt backing so the pin backing would look more sleek.


And this is how I packaged it. I drafted my own puffy box and made this one from a cereal box. Trying to keep the packaging to reused/up cycled materials. Then I wrapped it with the silver polka dot ribbon and a hand cut heart sticker Smiley


Lastly, a detail shot for all you crafty people to drool over  Wink




Ok, I need some comments and loving! I am nervously sending this out today!!!
26  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Superglue and Wool Felt? I think I almost started a fire. on: September 09, 2008 01:14:50 PM
Ok so I was just crafting earlier and putting a wool felt backing on a pin with superglue. It got really warm under my fingers as I was pressing it down but I didn't really think about it. Then just now I was working on another piece and there was actually smoke coming up from the felt! It was really chemically stinky but it dissipated quickly....

What the heck happened!?
27  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Blue Silk Pincushion on: August 29, 2008 03:59:29 PM

I am addicted to making these little pincushions! What do you all think of it?



It's made of ivory wool felt and a square of raw silk. I hand applied the lace motif Smiley

Comments? Suggestions?

Crafty <3
28  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Calico Cotton Button Thumbtacks on: August 29, 2008 03:53:08 PM
After playing around I finally figured out a great way to make thumbtacks from self covering buttons! Woo Hoo!

What do you think of these?



I would love some feedback and comments <3
29  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / New little Mod Ravioli Barrette on: August 29, 2008 01:27:21 PM
Howdy all! So I've been thinking of making my crafty lovlies to share and I would love a little feed back. This is a little barrette I made out of wool felt and a Czech glass bead. What do you think?





Thanks for the comments!
30  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Gigantically Hideous Yet Wonderful: Texas Sized Mum to Honor "Breaking Dawn" on: August 07, 2008 10:00:32 PM
Love my title?

No, offense is meant to Texans, I wanted this to be the largest most hideously wonderful piece of swag at the midnight book release of Breaking Dawn that I volunteered at. I face painted and got a lot of great comments on my "pin."  The base is a cardboard round covered in black vinyl (yum) and the edge has pleated white lace, rick-rack, and little zig zag cuts of black wool felt. I hand painted the words with white paint and added white wool flowers with gemstone middles. I also used the gemstones around the edge and finished the whole thing off with a little spray glitter. Hideously wonderful, yes?

Now to the pics!


On my dress form. See how big it is? I had to keep pulling up my shirt Smiley


Here's and edge detail with a nice view of the flowers I made Smiley


You can see the middle better here. Like the light sprinkling of red glitter in there? *tee hee*


Last lovely face shot... *sighs* I'll be wearing this to the movie I am sure!


I'd love to hear some comments! OH, btw as far as I know, I made up the phrase and I love it!

Go Team Edward!


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